Licensed International Financial Analyst (LIFA ™)

The LIFA™ (Licensed International Financial Analyst) program is administered by the International Research Association (IRA). The completion of all three exams in this program allows a professional to achieve recognition that they have attained the highest levels of professionalism and ethical standards in the investment industry. The main focus of the LIFA™ exam is to measure professional excellence in a broad curriculum of investment-related subjects.

Exam Details

Time Limit: 4 hours
Cost: Varies between $155 and $600
Passing Score: Unavailable
Number of Questions: 200
Format: Multiple Choice
Prerequisites: A U.S. Bachelor's Degree or equivalent must be earned by December 31st of the year the first exam is attempted.
Exam Date(s): 260+ days throughout the year.
Exam Location: Moodle online (http://www.moodle.org)
Offical Exam Website: www.the-ira.org/


Exam Topic Weights

For an in-depth breakdown of the above topics described, refer to the PDF curriculum guide provided by the International Research Association here.

The International Research Association does not provide the exam curriculums or topic weightings for Level 1 and 2 exams. The Level 3 exam topic weights are as follows:

LIFA Exam Topic Weights By Section





Professionals FAQs
  1. Where can I look for a financial planner?

    References from trusted friends or family members can help you find a financial planner; however, keep in mind that your friends' financial situations and goals may differ from yours and, therefore, their planners won't necessarily be the best fit for you.The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards certifies financial planners and maintains an online list of certified financial planners on its CFP Board of Standards website.
  2. If I am looking to get an Investment Banking job. What education do employers prefer? MBA or CFA?

    If you are looking specifically for an investment banking position, an MBA may be marginally preferable over the CFA. The caveat here is that the MBA would most probably need to be from a Top-20 B-School.The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is well worth considering if you (a) are aiming for an entry-level position in investment banking, and/or (b) cannot afford to shell out six figures for an MBA or have to settle for a lesser-known B-school.That's because in the investment banking field, most entry-level positions are at the analyst level.
  3. Can I still pass the CFA Level I if I do poorly in the ethics section?

    You may still pass the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Level I even if you fare poorly in the ethics section, but don't count on it. The CFA Institute has long emphasized that ethics is a particular area of focus for it. The seriousness with which the CFA Institute views ethics is evident from the fact that for exam candidates with borderline total scores, performance on the ethics section can mean the difference between passing and failing the exam.
  4. Under the USA, registration as an IAR includes all of the following EXCEPT:

    Under the USA, registration as an IAR includes all of the following EXCEPT: A. Minimum net capitalB. Passing a qualification examC. Filing a consent to service of processD. Posting a surety bond The correct answer is "A", since only an IA would need to prove minimum net capital requirements.
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